April 15, 2008
By Naomi Spector, ACE member
We thought we’d take a moment to feature the No Free Transfer blog that posts updates on MBTA news and photographs of Boston train lines. An interesting post reviewed the opening of the Mattapan High Speed line, which used to be free but now charges $1.70 for a trip. While this line connects Mattapan residents to the Ashmont track of the Red Line, the MBTA does not offer a free transfer. For riders in lower-income Mattapan, this means paying double for every trip connecting to the subway, whereas riders of the Green, Red, Orange and Blue lines can transfer as much as they like, for free.
No Free Transfer reveals that on top of the fare being disproportionately high for residents, the Mattapan line is also less dependable than other lines. It is "virtually 'cut off' from the rest of the system" and does not carry its own work equipment. If there is a problem, officials have to wait for aid from the Riverside line to "bail them out" if anything goes wrong. This is yet another example of transit inequities in the MBTA system.